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posted: 3/23/2014 12:01 AM

Side air bags deploy with bump in the road

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We had a client come in the other day explaining that they thought they hit a pothole, which deployed the side curtain air bags on their 2008 Buick Enclave.

Upon detailed inspection we could find no evidence of damage under the vehicle that would have contributed to the deployment of the air bags.

After researching our online resources, we discovered there were many cases of the side air bags deploying after soda pop or coffee had been spilled down the center console because this is where the modules for the air bags reside.

After removing both front seats and the center console we were able to gain access to the modules. Sure enough, it was clear they were all stained had been spilled on when the driver hit the pothole.

After replacing all the side curtain air bags, the modules and reprogramming the system, we were all good to go again. Fortunately, the insurance company picked up the tab because the repair was more than $4,000.

This makes you think twice about drinking your morning coffee in the car, that's for sure.

• Douglas Automotive is at 417 W. Main St., Barrington, (847) 381-0454, and 123 Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-0440. For information, visit Send questions to

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